Oh Man, I’ve Been to Oman

One of the nearby countries to the UAE is Oman. It runs down the eastern seaboard of the Arabian Peninsula. I headed over there on a flight last Friday to Muscat to see if what everyone else was saying about the place was true.  Here is a link if you are temporarily geographically embarrassed as to where I am referring.  View Larger Map

Muscat is only about a 45 minute flight – a hop step and a jump over the Hajar Mountains that run down the far eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. Unlike Dubai, Muscat lacks skyscrapers, has a backdrop of nearby rugged mountains and the ocean water is clear and deep. I had been planning on going to Salalah instead which is in the southern part of Oman on the Arabian Gulf as the summer there is cool and moist. That trip would need a couple more days to really get the feel of and also the birding there is meant to be excellent with a lot more African type birds. So I might leave that till October.

I managed to be sitting on the plane next to a gorgeous young lass who was on a similar short trip to Muscat. We decided to do some sightseeing together in my hire car before I dropped her off at her hotel. I found many years ago when working in the South Pacific that it is so much better to visit places with someone else who you can share the experiences with – even if you do not end up continuing a friendship with them. To hear my fellow sightseer go “Wow” when we turned a corner and there was another spectacular view was wonderful! At her hotel, we had a nice lunch by the beach (with an almost refreshing sea breeze that cut the temperature down from 40 to 36) before I bid her farewell and headed off to do some birding back on the airport side of Muscat.

Muscat is far slower pace to Dubai, with relatively little road traffic, quite spread out, very nice beaches and hotels, and a backdrop of rocky mountains providing very good scenic opportunities. Intermixed are a few fishing villages with local small fishing boats. Enjoy the photos!

Muttrah Fort

Muttrah Fort

Incense Burner Monument, Muscat

Incense Burner Monument, Muscat

UFO or Incense Burner Monument?

UFO or Incense Burner Monument?

From Incense Burner looking east

From Incense Burner looking east

From Incense Burner Looking West

From Incense Burner Looking West

Small fishing village near Shangri-La resort

Small fishing village near Shangri-La resort

Fishing boat on beach near Shangri-La resort

Fishing boat on beach near Shangri-La resort

My Muscat sightseeing companion

My Muscat sightseeing companion

Scenic view down to villages on beach

Scenic view down to villages on beach

Coffee Pot Roundabout, Muscat

Coffee Pot Roundabout, Muscat

And finally, this one of me birding at sunset at the overflow lagoons from the sewage works. Lovely smell there and unfortunately not too many birds there. Too overgrown with weeds!

Birding at Sunset at the Al Ansab Lagoons

Birding at Sunset at the Al Ansab Lagoons

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3 Responses to “Oh Man, I’ve Been to Oman”

  1. Zahir Says:

    Welcome to Oman

    It is the country of hospitality. You should visit us again and again. There are lots of other beautiful scenes. These are like Nizwa, Sohar, Rustaq, Green Mountain (Jabal Akhdhar), Salalah and many more.

    Zahir

  2. Luke Naismith Says:

    Thank you Zahir and I apologise for not mentioning that before. One thing that everyone talks about Oman is not just the scenery but also the friendliness and hospitality of the local people there. It is sincere rather than something dressed up as “customer service”. I look forward to going back again, next time I hope to Salalah.

  3. Muscat Says:

    Luke – Oman is well worth exploring and for birds autumn is a great time to journey through Oman . I laughed when you said how quiet the road are, compared to Dubai. Yes of course they are but – busy is in the eye of the beholder and of course all residents in Muscat complain about the traffic as much as residents in Dubai.

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